Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
The most challenging section of the entire Offa's Dyke route. We walk approximately 66 miles of the central section south from Chirk to Kington.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 78717
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
The Offa’s Dyke path runs for 177 miles from Prestatyn on the North Wales coast to Chepstow on the Severn Estuary. The route follows the ancient barrier which was built by Offa, the King of Mercia, in the 8th century to protect his kingdom from his rivals in what is now Wales.
We walk each section from north to south over six days, returning each night to our comfortable hotel.
The dyke transverses hugely diverse scenery along its route. To some the southern section through the Black Mountains past the ruins of Tintern Abbey and Llanthony Priory will be the highlight. Others might prefer the Clwydian Hills and the relatively modern aqueducts on the Llangollen canal. However, some who walk the mid section through the Welsh Marches may consider that more rolling countryside and appealing market towns offer a very different but equally appealing experience. We suggest you try all three sections before deciding on your favourite. If you walk all three routes the total walking distance is about 186 miles, which is slightly longer than the official path. This is due to short walks to and from the trail.
The Central Section
The most challenging section of the entire Offa’s Dyke route. We’ll walk approximately 66 miles of the central section south from Chirk to the traditional English town of Kington. We will walk the cliffs of Llanymynech Hills, ascend Beacon Ring and walk on the highest point of the trail before reaching our destination at Kington.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Independent travel to The Dragon Hotel in Montgomery. Check in is from 3pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6:30pm in the hotel bar for a briefing before dinner.
Starting in the grounds of Chirk Castle, this walk takes us through varied countryside with woods, farmland and open heath plus an introduction to the type of terrain that led Offa’s Dyke to be called ‘not the longest, not the highest, but the best' long distance path. On route we will pass through the remains of the 17th Century Oswestry Racecourse before dropping down into a quiet valley. A climb up to Moelydd Uchaf for superb 360 views before reaching our pick-up at Porth-y-Waen.
We start at Llanymynech Hill where copper ores were mined over 2000 years ago. Subsequently its limestone was quarried for agricultural and industrial uses with production boosted hugely in the 19th century when the canal and railway were built. The site is now a nature reserve with a variety of butterflies, plants and bird life. We drop down into the village of Llanymynech for a fascinating visit to the remains of the lime kilns before picking up the trail alongside the Montgomery Canal and ending the days hike with a gentle stretch alongside the River Severn.
Today’s walk is packed with variety as it tracks through border country. We ascend Beacon Ring, the site of an Iron Age fort, gradually over 4 miles before dropping down through glorious woodland to enter the Vale of Glamorgan. From here a relaxing walk with superb views in all directions to meet our transport at Brompton Crossroads. Time permitting, a visit to the ruins of Montgomery Castle may be possible on the homeward journey.
Todays walk passes through lush rolling countryside and the route becomes hilly as we traverse a series of river valleys flowing across our path. We cross the border between England and Wales many times today and you will be walking on top of the Dyke itself. Highlight of the afternoon is reaching the official half-way point of the whole Offa’s Dyke Trail.
Leaving the small village of Newcastle, this walk is made up of fairly gentle hills. A steady climb brings us to the top of Llanfair Hill, the highest point on Offa’s Dyke. Although a hilly walk, there are excellent views
to all day before dropping down into Knighton. After a short rest, we climb back out of Knighton and over the local golf course to meet with our transport. There should be time to return to Knighton for refreshments before leaving for our hotel.
Leaving an area overlooking the small town of Knighton, this walk is made up of fairly gentle hills, finishing in Kington. Offa’s Dyke is your constant companion today. You will see some of the best examples of the whole route of the dyke in today’s section. Although hilly the final stretch of the walk is relatively straightforward with excellent views. The ultimate climb of the holiday will see us on top of the summit ridge of Rushcock Hill with glorious views down into Kington, our final destination. Time for a celebratory cup of tea before starting the journey back to the hotel.
Departure after breakfast. Check out of the hotel is by 11am.
Departure dates for your selected tour
10th Jul 2021 - 17th Jul 2021 (7 Nights)
12th Sep 2021 - 19th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)
Private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
The Dragon hotel was originally built as a Coaching Inn around 1630. For centuries, horses and coaches would be driven right through the centre of the hotel and the covered coachway now forms the entrance area. The hotel is located in the attractive town of Montgomery, in the heart of the beautiful Mid Wales countryside and is owned by a group of local families. It has built an excellent reputation for the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, all of whom live in and around Montgomery.
Rooms come with TV, bath or shower and tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel is situated over three floors and some of these have sloping roofs and exposed beams. Stairs to the upper floor are fairly narrow and because of the layout of the historic building, there are no lifts in the hotel, however staff will assist with bags should you require help. The hotel benefits from an indoor pool and free Wi-Fi.
This is a Grade 6 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent with walks in some remote areas. Paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
The Offa’s Dyke path runs for 177 miles from Prestatyn on the North Wales coast to Chepstow on the Severn Estuary.
The route follows the ancient barrier built by Offa, the King of Mercia, in the 8th century to protect his kingdom from his rivals in what is now Wales.
We’ll walk 66 miles (approximately) of the central section of the route southwards from Chirk Castle on the edge of England, reaching the highest point of the trail before reaching the traditional English town of Kington. The central section will be completed in six sections over your 7-night stay, returning each night to our hotel.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Montgomery can be reached by train and the nearest station is in Welshpool (7.5 miles away), then you can take a bus or taxi to the hotel. There are regular rail services from Shrewsbury and Birmingham to the East and from Aberystwyth to the West. By road, when travelling from the midlands, Montgomery is within one hour of the M6 Motorway via the M54. It can easily be reached from the north-west via the A483, while travellers from the south can have a beautifully scenic route via the A49. If driving, the hotel has a car park and there is also a free park in the town. The local public bus provider is Tanat Valley Coaches.
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation; www.rome2rio.com
Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7pm) on arrival at the hotel and aim to be in the hotel bar half an hour beforehand for an introduction to your leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
Meals are included on a half board basis and will be served primarily at the hotel. Lunches are at your own expense and not included.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Our intended route is covered by the following maps:
Ordnance Survey Explorer series (1:25,000 scale maps):
216 Welshpool and Montgomery
201 Knighton and Presteigne
Harvey’s maps: Offa's Dyke Path National Trail
Trailblazer Guides: Offa’s Dyke Path (Keith Carter) www.trailblazer-guides.com
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
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